Mythbusters: Proving Patrick Ewing Was More Clutch Than Reggie Miller
It was Game 7 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. All Knicks fans remember it as the day when they jumped from their seats and screamed the same thing:
"Ewing dunk the damn ball!!!!!!!!"
It was Game 1 of 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals. Knicks fans may better remember it as the day the hopped out of their seats with tears in their eyes and screamed:
"Eight points in nine seconds? Really!"
It was moments like these that would go on to shape the legacy of Reggie Miller and Patrick Ewing. The former would go on to be known as Captain Clutch, and the latter, well, not so much.
However, I'm here to prove that Patrick Ewing was in fact more clutch than Reggie Miller ever was.
In order to decide who is more clutch we must first define the word.
Clutch: A tense, critical situation.
Sounds like every minute of every playoff game can be defined as clutch, doesn't it?
First of all, lets take a look at the play that ended Patrick Ewing as we knew him (fast forward to around 3:50):
Could Ewing really have dunked that ball?
Because I don't know many guys not named Michael Jordan who can dunk from that far out. Let alone the fact he got past a double team and somehow got up to the rim on a bad knee.
I know he missed the shot, but the fact that he was able to make it to the rim is remarkable to me. He beat an Indiana double team and skied all the way to the rim from just in from the free throw line on a bad knee.
Granted he missed the shot, but that was more a result of an unlucky bounce than anything.
So now that we have shed the choker tag from Ewing's name lets get to the debate.
Reggie Miller has always been know as captain clutch primarily for his performances against the Knicks. Although Miller had quite a few moments where Knick fans wanted to have him executed, was that really a result of his clutch ability, or his ability to be a pain in the ass?
Now it's no secret that Reggie Miller loved to talk trash. In fact he did much more than talk it. Do I really need to break out a picture of the choke gesture? How about the John Starks headbutt?
Miller was a great player, but many people misinterpret what actually happened in the 1990s. People see Miller as the ultimate Knick killer, but it was quite the opposite.
The Knicks owned Miller.
The Knicks and Pacers met in six playoff series' during the 90s. For only three of those six series' did the Knicks go into with a healthy Patrick Ewing. In those series' the Knicks bested the Pacers two out of three times.
No, Ewing did not go Houdini and dissapear during the playoffs, he was the man responsible for both of those playoff victories.
In fact in the famous missed finger roll game the Knicks would have been blown out of not for Ewing's performance. He scored 29 Points, grabbed 14 Rebounds, Dished out five assists, and Blocked four shots.
If not for Ewing's huge game the Knicks would have never even been in a spot to give Ewing that infamous finger roll.
Also forgotten was Ewing's huge game in Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals. He scored 24 Points, ripped down 24 Rebounds, Dished out seven assists, and blocked five shots. In fact, during the NBA Finals that same year Ewing would have won a ring if John Starks didn't play so poorly.
Meanwhile, Miller made more then a few clutch shots. We all know about his eight points in 8.9 seconds moment, or his 25 points in the fourth quarter thanks to Spike Lee.
But what people tend to forget is that Miller never could beat Ewing.
Miller will always be known as the ultimate Knick killer because of the moments he created.
Because that is what we all remember: Moments.
We remember Reggie Miller scoring eight points in 8.9 seconds, but we forget that John Starks missed two free throws that could have stopped that all together.
We remember Reggie Miller for stealing Anthony Mason's inbound pass, but we forget that he pushed a Knick to the ground to do so.
That was the difference between Reggie Miller and Patrick Ewing: Reggie Miller was a moment creator, but Patrick Ewing was a win creator.
Reggie Miller did some unbelievable things in his career, but people fail to realize the fact that Patrick Ewing did the same.
People tend to forget what it truly means to be clutch. A clutch player pushes his team over the top in the biggest games.
Reggie Miller did all he could to push the Pacers over the top and he often did, but just remember: In an 18-year career Reggie Miller went to the NBA Finals just once.
In 15 seasons with the Knicks (or about 10 healthy ones) Ewing managed to take a team of average players to the NBA Finals twice. And that's impressive.
Neither of these men can be classified as winners (thanks to Michael Jordan), but who could really call them losers?
They poured their blood, sweat, and tears into every game they played, and for that they should have your utmost respect.
Patrick Ewing is often billed as the loveable loser of the 90s, but if you look at the big picture he was far from it.
Patrick Ewing was more clutch than anybody gave him credit for. And quite frankly, he deserves some credit.
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